The Montessori Elementary Program
The Montessori curriculum for the elementary level is based on the “Five Great Lessons,” which present the emergence of the universe and the progression of human civilization. In principle, Montessori curriculum presents multi-disciplinary information to elementary children in a whole-to-part progression. In Fort Collins Montessori School, the curriculum is aligned to Colorado State and Common Core Standards. Typically, when children begin in a Montessori school at an early age, they will exceed district levels of proficiency.
The Five Great Lessons
The Great Lessons are bold and exciting. They are designed to awaken a child’s imagination and curiosity. The child should be struck with the wonder of creation, thrilled with new ideas, and awed by the inventiveness and innovation that is part of the human spirit.
The Five Great Lessons are presented traditionally in the Lower Elementary classroom (grades 1-3), and are presented every year so that children are exposed to them more than once. These stories encompass an enormous amount of information about the origins of the universe and solar system, life on earth, humanity, culture and mathematics. Within these lessons, the elementary child is introduced immediately to large concepts and then faced with the proposition of how smaller ideas fit into a large framework. Deeper study is always open to students so that the original story becomes the initiation of further inquiry, not the end point. The stories are referred to throughout the year when new topics are introduced as a means of providing unity and cohesion to a wide array of studies.
The lessons consist of:
- First Great Lesson-The Coming of the Universe and the Earth
- Second Great Lesson-The Coming of Life
- Third Great lesson-The Coming of Human Beings
- Fourth Great Lesson-The Story of Writing, Communication in Signs
- Fifth Great Lesson-The Story of Numbers
The Fort Collins Montessori School Elementary Program is divided into Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary Classrooms. We currently have two lower elementary and one upper elementary class.
Students in grades 1-3 are in mixed-age lower elementary classrooms. Students are kept in the same classroom group with the same teacher for the three year period before moving to upper elementary. This allows students to build social skills while stretching themselves academically to their full potential.
Students in grades 4-6 are in mixed-age upper elementary classrooms.